If you're dealing with symptomatic uterine fibroids, you may be considering treatment options to find relief and improve your quality of life. Two commonly discussed approaches are hysterectomy and fibroid embolization.
Here in Fresno, California, our team at Fresno Fibroid Center offers treatment with uterine fibroid embolization (or UFE) - a minimally invasive option for dealing with fibroids. But we do believe it's essential to understand the key differences between both treatment options and evaluate which one is right for you.
Below, we delve into what a hysterectomy and fibroid embolization entail, helping you make an informed decision about the most suitable treatment option for your specific needs.
Hysterectomy is a treatment option that refers to the surgical removal of your uterus and possibly other organs, such as your ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes. This approach offers a definitive solution for uterine fibroids, as it eliminates the possibility of their recurrence.
It can be performed through different techniques. Depending on your specific needs, it may be performed as a vaginal hysterectomy, laparoscopically-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH), robotic-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy, or a traditional abdominal “open” hysterectomy.
While hysterectomy can effectively alleviate fibroid symptoms, it's important to consider the potential implications. The procedure is major surgery and involves a longer recovery period compared to other treatment options. While not common, there are potential serious complications that can occur with major surgery like hysterectomy. Additionally, it results in the permanent loss of fertility, which can be a significant factor to consider if you desire to have children in the future.
Fibroid embolization 一 sometimes called uterine fibroid embolization or uterine artery embolization 一 is a minimally invasive procedure that targets the blood supply to each of the fibroids. During the procedure, tiny embolic particles are injected into targeted uterine arteries, blocking the blood flow to the fibroids. Without an ample flow of blood, your fibroids don’t get the nutrients they need, so they shrink. As they shrink, your symptoms dissipate.
Fibroid embolization offers several advantages over hysterectomy. It is a less invasive procedure, requiring only a small incision in the wrist area. Performing a uterine fibroid embolization with this process is called trans-radial access. At the Fresno Fibroid Center, we employ this state-of-the-art technology, performing the entire procedure through a small puncture into the radial artery in your left wrist, meaning you’re able to walk and sit up immediately after your procedure.
As a result, your recovery time is typically shorter, and most women can return to their normal activities within a week. Another benefit is that it preserves the uterus, allowing for the potential to have children in the future. Fibroid embolization is a suitable option for women who want to avoid major surgery or wish to retain their fertility.
Choosing the right option for you
The decision between hysterectomy and fibroid embolization (or other treatment options) ultimately depends on your specific circumstances, medical history, personal preferences, and reproductive goals. It's crucial to consult with our team, who can assess your individual situation and provide expert guidance.
We will discuss and consider factors such as the severity of your fibroid symptoms, the size and number of fibroids, your desire for future fertility, and your overall health. We will also discuss the potential risks, benefits, and long-term implications of both procedures to help make an informed decision.
Remember, every woman's situation is unique, and what works for one person may not be the best choice for another. By understanding your options and working closely with our expert medical team, you can determine the most appropriate treatment approach to effectively manage your uterine fibroids and improve your quality of life.
To explore your options and say goodbye to the painful symptoms of fibroids, give us a call at 559-216-0746. You can also use our online form to schedule an appointment at our Fresno, California office.